Race Weekend Central

Did You Notice? The Jimmie Johnson Backlash, Rainout Ridiculousness, Awesome Bill Retires & Starbucks?

Did You Notice? How much rainouts are unfairly affecting qualifying these days? It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so much excitement from potential Sprint Cup debuts ruined by something as simple as the weather. Scott Speed, Brad Keselowski and Bryan Clauson were all coming off exceptional test sessions where they clearly showed the speed …

Read more

Did You Notice? Red Flag Means Work, Tires Need Work & No Work for Patrick Carpentier

Did You Notice? Officials appeared to be taking debris off certain cars on the track during the first red-flag period? I wasn’t at the track this weekend, so maybe my eyes were seeing things on television. But I could have sworn that officials appeared to be removing some metal from the front grills of a …

Read more

Did You Notice? Petty’s Like Waltrip, Drivers Get Paid Too Much & Parity’s Lost

Did You Notice? That the way Kyle Petty’s career is ending is very reminiscent of Darrell Waltrip? Before I covered this sport through TV and print, I made no secret of the fact Waltrip was my favorite driver. His fall from grace in the years leading up to retirement (save for a few races in ’98 …

Read more

Did You Notice? McMurray Got Screwed, Screwy Rookie Scheduling & NASCAR’s Fake Title Contenders

Did You Notice? Jamie McMurray’s crash at Dover was not just caused by Robby Gordon’s recklessness… but by missing the playoffs? Let me explain. After the regular-season finale at Richmond, Roush Fenway Racing GM Robbie Reiser made a number of pit-crew switches to benefit the RFR teams set to contend for the championship. “There were …

Read more

Did You Notice? Owners Gain Power, Sponsors Turn Sour, NASCAR Goes F1 & Logano’s Bad Run

Did You Notice? Or wonder why one of Formula 1’s top race managers is headed over NASCAR’s way? Steve Hallam, the head of race operations for McLaren, is moving overseas to take what AutoSport termed a “similar position within NASCAR.” No official word from Daytona Beach as to what, exactly, that position might be, though …

Read more

Did You Notice? Stewart’s Sabotage, Ragan Rattled, Bowyer’s Cheap Shot & Richmond Beauty

Did You Notice? How much better the racing was at Richmond when just a handful of cars were racing for points? All over the track on Sunday, it looked like drivers were shot out of a cannon, released from the shackles of having to calculate what’ll happen if they play it safe and run 17th. …

Read more

Did You Notice? Ragan’s Rise Equals Kenseth’s Fall? A Chase Race to Safety & Stewart’s Success

Did You Notice? How different things look now for David Ragan now than at this point a year ago? Let’s take a look at the stats through 25 races of his rookie season: Zero wins, one top five (Daytona 500 in February), one top 10 (that same Daytona), two DNFs, 22nd in driver points and getting …

Read more

Did You Notice? Reed Sorenson Could Be Casey Atwood, Part II, & 2 Teams Better Than 1 for the Big 4

Did You Notice? That sneaky suspicion that Reed Sorenson’s move to Gillett Evernham Motorsports equals the second coming of Casey Atwood? In light of the official announcement Sorenson’s headed to GEM, I can’t stop thinking about the comparison between the two. For new fans, some background: both were rookies in the Cup Series at 20 years …

Read more

Did You Notice? Jeff Gordon’s Sudden Slide, What NASCAR’s Schedule Hides & Hamlin’s Bad Side

A lot of shorter observations than usual, so I’m calling this the Odds ‘N’ Ends edition of Did You Notice this week… Did You Notice? That California Speedway’s date realignment on the 2009 Sprint Cup schedule did nothing to address the quality of racing at that facility? I will say the Labor Day date was always …

Read more

Did You Notice? Junior Stressed Out? Said Rained Out? & Why Did McDowell Pout?

Did You Notice? That Dale Earnhardt Jr. looks a little haggard lately? In virtually every single interview I’ve seen him do over the past two months, Junior’s answers are so slow and meticulously constructed it feels like he’s processing the question in slow motion. I feel like it’s either one of two things – it’s either …

Read more

Did You Notice? NASCAR & Politics, Raining on Goodyear & Penske’s Nasty Divorce

Did You Notice? That on the heels of Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw his sponsorship of a Sprint Cup car – remember, Pocono was the weekend he was supposed to put his name on the side of the No. 49 BAM Racing Toyota – another political party was spotted making waves at the Speedway. Presumptive Republican …

Read more

Did You Notice? Teresa Earnhardt’s Silence, NASCAR’s Ugly Economy & Points Racing at Indy?

Did You Notice? That in the ugly aftermath of the Martin Truex Jr. situation – in which a report was planted suggesting he had already signed a two-year deal to remain at DEI – Teresa Earnhardt has yet to speak up about what’s going on. And that’s important, because the future of the very organization she …

Read more